Olympic medallist Mirabai Chanu wins ‘BBC Indian Sportswoman of the Year’ award


Guwahati: Weightlifter Mirabai Chanu has won the BBC Indian Sportswoman of the Year award for 2021, following a public vote.

The Olympic silver medallist beat golfer Aditi Ashok, boxer Lovlina Borgohain, Para-shooter Avani Lekhara, and badminton player PV Sindhu to the award.

Chanu became the first Indian weightlifter to win a silver medal at an Olympic Games when she finished second in the 49kg category in Tokyo.

In her reaction to winning the award, Chanu said: “I am currently training in the United States. I will give my best to win gold at this year’s Asian Games and Commonwealth Games. Thank you to BBC India for honouring me with the BBC Indian Sportswoman Of The Year award.”

Born in Manipur state, in northeastern India, the 27-year old learned her craft by carrying firewood from the hills to her home.

“My brothers used to carry the wood on multiple trips”, she told the BBC. “But I used to carry it all in one go.”

Chanu won the gold medal in the 48kg division at the 2017 World Championships in Anaheim and followed up with Commonwealth Games gold in 2018.